STARS EMIT LIGHT
Long, long ago… or if you’re an astronomer, far, far away…
Stars, galaxies, even dust and complex sugar molecules give off signals (signals = light = radiation) that is of GREAT interest to Earth-bound (for now) astronomers and engineers.
STARLIGHT GETS FAINTER
Travelling across the universe takes its toll on the signals, just a bit (sarcasm), and by the time the faint light sprinkles down on our planet the signals are so meager it takes a gargantuan effort – a VERY LARGE TELESCOPE – and the best cryogenic receivers cooled to ~ -450 degrees F to accurately pick them out of the technological noise blaring from our planet.
A LARGE ANTENNA or SET OF ANTENNAS (TELESCOPE) COLLECTS STARLIGHT
The incredibly faint signals are collected with an array of giant radio antennas or sometimes one single, very-large dish. The collection area of these antennas can range from 10 to 100m in diameter. The larger the reflector (how does this relate to the collecting area. It seems like we are switching terms) the finer the details that can be seen. With a 100 m telescope, we can distinguish features as small as ...